Category: david bowie



Loves to be loved, loves to be loved

“The Jean Genie” on Top of the Pops, first aired January 4, 1973

Angie Bowie – 1973
Photo by Brian Duffy

Cracked Actor

David Bowie, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Nile Rodgers during the making of Let’s Dance, by Chuck Pulin


Tops: Pastel

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David Bowie, “The Jean Genie”, first aired on Top of the Pops January 4, 1973, then lost for nearly 40 years!

The video itself is extraordinary – 100% live, no miming,

drenched in fuzz,

and Bowie capping off the glam jam with a quote from John Lennon’s harmonica solo from “Love Me Do (!!!) – but so’s the saga of the video’s rediscovery in 2011. 

The BBC had taped over the original recording (as they tended to do in those days), and thought it was gone for good. It featured a unique spherical lens (it starts at about 1:30 in) developed by one of the cameramen that day, John Henshall – who, it turns out, had taped Bowie’s performance for himself, as a demo for anyone who might be interested in hiring the lens (and his services) for their own projects. He had no idea that anybody had been looking for it, because it wasn’t lost to him. He’d never mislaid his copy of it!

This really is Bowie at his absolute glammiest, already moving well past Ziggy into something that didn’t really have a name. I know that the 1972 TOTP performance of “Starman” shook a lot of people up, but it struck me as musically quite conservative. Kind of dull, really, apart from some admittedly outré dress-up and posing. 

Not so this, my friend! Even though this version of “The Jean Genie” nods at its roots all the way back in 1963, which already seemed more like a century ago than merely a decade, it’s clearly already a million miles ahead.

And it really is a bit of an extra kick to have the rest of the story here:

MaterialGods on Etsy

David Bowie
The 1980 Floor Show – 1973
Photo by Terry O’Neill



The Man Who Fell To Earth sci-fi classic is becoming a TV series

The ‘70s movie made famous by David Bowie will come to CBS All Access. 

Read more in my CNET article here.


There was an effort to do this as a series back in the 80s. Lewis Smith, who was known for his work in Buckaroo Banzai, was in the Bowie role.

I know this because I played “rebellious teenager in fringe jacket” whose mother was played by Beverly D’Angelo.

We filmed the pilot, and the series wasn’t picked up. They ran it as a Sunday Night movie.


Perfect Tommy IS The Man Who Fell To Earth

A Collection of 70′s Albums

From The Illustrated History Of Rock Music, Jeremy Pascal, 1984.